Daylilies forum: Some Newbie Hybridizing Questions...

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Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jun 19, 2016 9:04 PM CST
So I have been trying my hand at hybridizing with my daylilies. I find it to be just another way for me to enjoy these beautiful flowers, and the thought of seeing a never before seen flower on a seedling really appeals to me. However, I am having some really poor results getting seed pods to set. I was wondering what percentage of success you all get with pod setting. Roughly, I would say that about 25% or less of the plants I am breeding are actually setting pods.

I have been doing the breeding early in the morning, usually around 7 or 8 my time. It has been hot here, so the temps are sometimes already in the upper 70s at that time and my daylilies get full sun beginning at that time of day. Do I need to do it earlier in the day or maybe in the late afternoon once my daylilies start getting some shade?

It has been extremely hot and dry here for the past 3 weeks or so. My plants weren't getting consistent water until I installed the drip system 5 days ago. Do you think having the plants watered consistently will help increase the success of my crosses?

Any advice or suggestions you can offer will be much appreciated!
Amber
Daylily Newbie
Name: Gerry Donahue
Pleasant Lake, IN (Zone 5b)
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profesora
Jun 19, 2016 10:06 PM CST
First you must know if the plant is diploid or tetraploids. This has to do with the number of chromosomes the plant has. The two will not cross pollinate.

On the database, look up the daylilies to find this out.
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jun 19, 2016 10:10 PM CST
Thanks Gerry. I do have that information. I only have to dips currently, so I know not to cross them with anyone. I have also looked at the database to see if each plant is marked pod or pollen fertile or both. But I have some that say pod fertile in the database that have not set any pods yet and I have put pollen on several of their blooms.
Amber
Daylily Newbie
Name: Fred Manning
Lillian Alabama

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spunky1
Jun 20, 2016 4:04 AM CST
Here it is also hot early, I start about 8am and want to be finished before 9:30am. Sometimes I may have to wait for some pollen to get ready it the humidity is up the night before it I don't have any of that pollen frozen. I never hybridize in the evening, but some do.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jun 20, 2016 1:19 PM CST
I'm fairly new to hybridizing also but last year I tried to keep good records. I found that most crosses done in the afternoon don't take for me. Days when the temperature is above 90 and it's very humid, I also have most crosses fail. If it rains and the pollen gets wet you can forget about it too. But other than that it seemed like it was pretty random in terms of days when almost all my crosses took and others when hardly anything did. All I can suggest is keep trying. Smiling
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jun 20, 2016 2:18 PM CST
@spunky1
What percentage of your crosses do you think actually "take"?

@bxncbx
Thank you for sharing your experiences. I did a little hybridizing last year and don't think I had this much trouble getting pods to take...but I really did very few attempts (I only had 26 seeds at the end of the season) and the temps were cooler. I was trying to be conservative earlier this season when my blooms first started because I am just not set up to grow and take care of several hundred baby daylilies here. But, I have switched to the tactic of pretty much pollinating everything since so few of the crosses are actually taking. I guess if I get too many seeds I can always sell or swap some Shrug!
Amber
Daylily Newbie
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jun 20, 2016 5:12 PM CST
Amber, I'm in the same boat. I have very little space but I love hybridizing! I'm not sure what the percentage of viable crosses were last year but it will vary with the weather. Some of my plants really suffered over the winter so I won't be surprised if they don't set pods. I figure your best bet is to make sure your plants are well watered & fertilized if you want them to set pods. The more stress on the plant the least likely they are to successfully reproduce. But if the weather doesn't cooperate there is nothing you can do. Shrug!

If you have extra seed you don't need you can always donate it to the International Daylily Seed Bank. They give seeds to people in countries where they can't import the plants for free! I donated almost 50 crosses to them last year.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jun 20, 2016 6:40 PM CST
I just did the calculations and 53% of my crosses took. I also noticed that if it was hot but not too humid about half the crosses took. But if it was hot & humid very few did. I also tried the same cross multiple times if I saw the first cross failed. The same cross would sometimes work the second or third try for reasons I don't understand so don't give up!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jun 20, 2016 10:27 PM CST
I am having the same problem as Elena is having. It must be the high temps early on and the rain/humidity.

Some of my pods formed and grew to about half the size of a mature pod, but then stopped growing and turned brown. When I opened them there were NO seeds at all.
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Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
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SpringGreenThumb
Jun 20, 2016 10:52 PM CST
The pollination doesn't work in heat. Heat also destroys the pollen. It needs to take place in cooler temps. You can pot the plant indoors in air conditioning and that will help or do it very early, in the shade, and then the blooms need to stay dry in case you have a sprinkling system or rain.

I pollinate on cloudy days as early as 6:30 am.

Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
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SpringGreenThumb
Jun 20, 2016 10:53 PM CST
If temps are cool I have 80% success. If temps are hot I have 10% success.
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Jun 21, 2016 5:03 AM CST
SpringGreenThumb said:The pollination doesn't work in heat. Heat also destroys the pollen. It needs to take place in cooler temps. You can pot the plant indoors in air conditioning and that will help or do it very early, in the shade, and then the blooms need to stay dry in case you have a sprinkling system or rain.

I pollinate on cloudy days as early as 6:30 am.



How long does the bloom need to stay dry after pollen has been applied? And is there a general temperature (e.g., 80 or 90 degrees) where you notice a steep decline in successful pollination?
Amber
Daylily Newbie
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
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SpringGreenThumb
Jun 21, 2016 5:18 AM CST
amberjewel said:

How long does the bloom need to stay dry after pollen has been applied? And is there a general temperature (e.g., 80 or 90 degrees) where you notice a steep decline in successful pollination?


If the blossom gets wet within 10 hours after I pollinate success declines so I just make sure they stay dry for 24 - 48 hours.
You can very very gently put a plastic sand which bag over a pollinated blossom if it looks like rain.

I notice a steep decline in success if I pollinate in temperatures that rise to 78+ degrees F.

That's why I pollinate at the crack of dawn those first freshly opened blossoms while temperatures are in the 70's. I want the pollen already saturated the moment the moisture increases. The moisture increases as the morning warms.

Only use the most fresh fluffy pollen from a newest opened bloom for best results. (One that has not been exposed to warm temps yet.
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
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SpringGreenThumb
Jun 21, 2016 5:21 AM CST
It's a race against temperatures for sure. I also select blossoms that are shaded from full sunlight if I can. Shade helps keep the heat off.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 21, 2016 5:26 AM CST
Something to bear in mind also is whether the cultivar/s in question are diurnal or nocturnal. If nocturnal your ideal pollination time would be different.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Jun 23, 2016 6:45 AM CST
Being a newbie to everything, this strand of the forum is interesting! Someday I'll try hybridizing....

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